Wondering what you will be when you grow up? You’re among the majority of people age 12 to 62 who would like assurance about what comes next. Can I become financially secure as a surfer dude? Is there longevity in a career as a singer for a human bullfrog?
Maybe you just don’t know what is out there or which path your interests and abilities point to. Here are 5 suggestions for answering your own questions.
- If you are in high school or college, find out what support your school offers. Most will have a guidance or career office with trained counselors who with access to good information and options for exploration. College career offices are available to graduates of the college as well as students.
- Start by taking career interest inventories and assessments. These are not tests that will spit out the ONE THING you should do with your life. Instead they are maps to treasure but you have to consider their meaning and by following the trail. These assessments can tell you about where you are likely to find they type of work you prefer, where your interests fit. Some of the better known and widely used are
- Myers Briggs Type Inventory Career Report (MBTI) which is available from MBTI practitioners.
- Strong Interest Inventory Interest Report (versions for high school, college and working adults).
- Self Directed Search, similar to Strong but less tied to a professional interpreter. Some college application platforms, like Naviance, have a version available to students.
- The Birkman collection of surveys is available through career professionals. Birkman Method gives feedback on potential hiccups and issues to consider when choosing a career.
- A good resource is Google research. Ask “What can I do with a major in_____” for learnabouto a major you are considering or the one you graduated with. Maybe you’ll learn that your minor in psychology or poli sci offers you good options. Check out something you haven’t studied but are interested in, too.
- Use o*netonline.org to learn the projected growth and income in various jobs over the next 15-20 years. O*netcenter.org can help you research and career exploration.
- When you have a few ideas its time to try them out. Set up informational interviews with practitioners of the job under consideration. Arrange to shadow someone for a day or two. Become an intern in your field. Internships are more than unpaid labor: they are on the job training and a try-out for the job. You will find out if you like the work and the employer will discover what great potential you have.
Don’t leave your career to chance. Unless you know what you are looking for when opportunity knocks you won’t open the door.
When you are ready to plan your future, I can help you with the exploration you need to become focused and flexible. Stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679.